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For King & Country releases intense ‘Little Drummer Boy’ cover

There’s no simple pa rum pum pum pum in a new version of the Christmas carol staple “Little Drummer Boy.”

For King & Country, a Christian pop duo, have released their take on the holiday song that spotlights the drummer of the “Little Drummer Boy.”

It’s much louder and percussion-heavy than the famous Bing Crosby and David Bowie version that’s heard ad nauseam once radio stations switch format to all Christmas music all the time.

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The video, which was recently posted on Facebook, has already reached nearly 8 million views.

And for those who consider themselves more traditional when it comes to their Christmas music, click here for the Crosby/Bowie version.

As for fans of the new version, For King and Country have released their first full-length Christmas album called Christmas Live from Phoenix.

Foo Fighters, Guns N’ Roses pay tribute to AC/DC’s Malcolm Young

The Foo Fighters and Guns N’ Roses paid tribute to Malcolm Young, the AC/DC rhythm guitarist who died Saturday at age 64. Both bands dedicated songs during their respective concerts to Young, who died three years after being diagnosed with dementia.

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The Foo Fighters opened its concert in Mexico City’s Corona Capital Festival with a blistering version of the 1977 A/C song, “Let There Be Rock,” Rolling Stone reported.

“We're going to play some rock ’n’roll for Malcolm tonight,” Dave Grohl told the crowd as a photo of Young was shown behind the band on the festival's large video screen.

>> AC/DC co-founder Malcolm Young dead at 64

Earlier in the day in a written tribute to Young, Grohl said that AC/DC's 1980 concert film “Let There Be Rock” “changed my life,” Rolling Stone reported.

Guns N' Roses played in Sacramento, California on Saturday. Although Axl Rose did not perform alongside Malcolm while he was the guest lead singer for AC/DC. The singer remains close to Malcolm's younger brother Angus Young, Rolling Stone reported.

“We're gonna dedicate this to Malcolm Young, who will be sorely missed. By none more than his brother Angus,” Rose told the crowd as Slash played a solo rendition of Alice Cooper's "Only Women Bleed."

>> PHOTOS: Notable deaths, 2017

Guns N' Roses then dedicated its covers of both Bob Dylan's “Knockin' on Heaven's Door” and AC/DC's “Whole Lotta Rosie” to the late guitarist.

In a statement to Rolling Stone, Slash said "Malcolm Young was one of the best-ever rhythm guitarists in rock ’n’ roll. He was a fantastic songwriter and he had a great work ethic too. I toured with AC/DC on their 'Stiff Upper Lip' tour. I found Malcolm to be a really cool, down to earth fellow. The entire rock ’n’ roll community is heartbroken by his passing.”

Country music Hall of Famer Mel Tillis dead at 85

Country Music Hall of Famer Mel Tillis died early Sunday morning in Ocala, Florida, according to his publicist, Don Murry Grubbs. He was 85.

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In his six-decade career, the singer recorded more than 60 albums, had three dozen Top 10 singles and wrote several hit songs that are now regarded as classics, the Tennessean reported.

During the 1960s, Tillis’ songs charted for several artists, with hits like “Ruby (Don't Take Your Love to Town),” “Mental Revenge” and “Detroit City,” becoming classics, the Tennessean reported.

As a recording artist, Tillis scored during the 1970s with two dozen Top 10 hits. Five of them topped the charts, including “Coca Cola Cowboy” in 1979.

His other No. 1 hits were “I Ain’t Never” in 1972, “Good Woman Blues”  in 1976, “Heart Healer” in 1976, “I Believe in You” in 1978. He also went to No. 1 in 1980 with “Southern Rains.”

The Country Music Association named Tillis Entertainer of the Year in 1976, the Tennessean reported, and he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame that same year.

Tillis appeared on several television shows, including “Hee Haw” and “Hollywood Squares.” He also appeared in films such as “Cannonball Run” and “Smokey and the Bandit.” He  did commercials for Whataburger, a fast-food restaurant chain, the Tennessean

reported.

Lonnie Melvin Tillis was born on Aug. 8, 1932, near Tampa, Fla. He developed a speech impediment after a childhood bout of malaria, the Tennessean reported. But he used the stammer to his advantage as an entertainer.

“After a lot of years and more hurting than I like to remember, I can talk about it lightly — which eases things a bit,” he wrote in “Stutterin' Boy,” his 1984 autobiography. “It's a way of showing people that it hasn't licked me, so it doesn't have to lick others.”

In 2007, Tillis was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry Hall of Fame by his daughter, singer Pam Tillis. Later that year, he was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

"I'm just so thankful, for everything," he  said when he was inducted.

In 2011, Tillis was named a National Medal of Arts recipient for his contributions to country music, the Tennessean reported. He received his award in February 2012 during a White House ceremony.

AC/DC co-founder Malcolm Young dead at 64

Rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young, the co-founder of the rock ’n’ roll group AC/DC, died Saturday, Rolling Stone reported and the band announced on its website. He was 64.

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Young had been suffering from dementia for the past three years, which forced his retirement from the band that he founded with his brother Angus Young in 1973.

"Today it is with deep heartfelt sadness that AC/DC has to announce the passing of Malcolm Young," AC/DC wrote on its site. “Malcolm, along with Angus, was the founder and creator of AC/DC. With enormous dedication and commitment he was the driving force behind the band. As a guitarist, songwriter and visionary he was a perfectionist and a unique man. He always stuck to his guns and did and said exactly what he wanted. He took great pride in all that he endeavored. His loyalty to the fans was unsurpassed.”

Angus Young added, "As his brother it is hard to express in words what he has meant to me during my life, the bond we had was unique and very special. He leaves behind an enormous legacy that will live on forever. Malcolm, job well done.”

The Young brothers lost their older brother, George Young, who was the band’s longtime producer and a guitarist for the Easybeats, on Oct. 23. George Young was 70 when he died.

>> AC/DC producer, Easybeats guitarist George Young dead at 70

In a statement to Australia's SBS, the band said that Malcolm Young died peacefully Saturday with his family by his side.

“Renowned for his musical prowess, Malcolm was a songwriter, guitarist, performer, producer and visionary who inspired many,” the statement said. “From the outset, he knew what he wanted to achieve and, along with his younger brother, took to the world stage giving their all at every show. Nothing less would do for their fans.”

Malcolm Young was last featured on the band's Black Ice tour, which ran from 2008 to 2010 and is the fourth-highest grossing tour of all time, SBS reported.

Malcolm Young, like his older brother George and younger brother Angus, was born in Glasgow, Scotland before the whole Young family emigrated to Sydney, Australia in the early 1960s, Rolling Stone reported.

Malcolm and Angus named the band after the “AC/DC” electrical current marker that they observed on their sisters sewing machine, Rolling Stone reported.

The brothers were the creative forces behind hits like “Highway to Hell,” “Back in Black,” “Highway to Hell,” “Thunderstruck,” “You Shook Me All Night Long,” and “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You).”

Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine tweeted that he was “losing it that Malcolm is gone,  I hate this.”

David Coverdale of Whitesnake tweeted that Young was “a great guy” and “a pleasure to know.”

“Truly missed,” he added.

The Young brothers and AC/DC were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003, Rolling Stone reported. The band sold more than 110 million albums worldwide.

In September 2014 the band said Malcolm Young had left the group because of the onset of dementia, The Guardian reported.

In November 2014, Angus Young told The Guardian that his brother had developed symptoms when the group recorded the “Black Ice” album in 2008, and that he had to relearn songs between shows.

“It was hard work for him,” Angus Young said. “He was relearning a lot of those songs that he knew backwards; the ones we were playing that night he’d be relearning.”

Louisiana veteran entertains motorists with saxophone

A Vietnam War veteran has become a fixture for music lovers in his Louisiana town.

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Donald Givens plays saxophone for several hours daily in his gazebo at his Monroe residence. His yard is located near the corner of two overpasses and commuters can listen to his daily jam sessions, the News-Star reported.

Strangers pull up to his home and ask Givens to play, sometimes handing the 67-year-old money for music requests. Some residents in Monroe simply refer to him as the saxophone man.

"I don't feel famous,” he told the News-Star.

He may not be as famous as another Monroe native -- jazz tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson -- but Givens loves to create music.

In addition to the saxophone, he can also play the piano and guitar. Givens became entranced with the saxophone after hearing it during a church service, the News-Star reported.

At the same time, he started learning guitar.

"Once you know how to read music, I think you've got well over half of the battle won because you can recognize the notes to any instrument,” Givens told the News-Star. “I just needed to know where B or C was on the saxophone. I could recognize it on the sheet music.”

He started trying to copy Kenny G and other well-known saxophonists.

“When I first started, I would play inside the house. When I got pretty decent I went out to the driveway, and when I thought I was pretty good, I went out to the gazebo,” he said.

His favorite pieces to play include "Jesus, You're the Center of My Joy," " You Are So Beautiful," "Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone," and "Memory."

Givens said he can play four to five hours without getting winded now, and he loves to keep practicing because there is no end goal with music.

“You can never master it,” he said. “It's unending.”

Stolen Van Halen guitar returned to Hard Rock Cafe in Texas

A guitar owned by rock ’n’ roll legend Eddie Van Halen worth more than $100,000 was recovered Friday, hours after it was stolen from a Hard Rock Cafe in San Antonio, Texas, KSAT reported.

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The guitar, nicknamed “Frankenstrat,” had been reported stolen around 1 a.m. Friday. It was returned later in the day, but it is unclear how the restaurant was able to retrieve the instrument.

According to San Antonio police, someone walked in a side door of the Hard Rock Cafe and took the red, white and black guitar off the wall, and then exited the building. An employee noticed the guitar was missing after the Hard Rock Cafe closed, police said.

The Frankenstrat guitar was one of several that Van Halen had custom built for him during his career, the San Antonio Express reported. 

Van Halen is considered one of the most influential guitarists in the history of rock music. In 2011, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Van Halen eighth on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists.

Kiss frontman Gene Simmons fires up Twitter after comments that women can’t balance career, family

Gene Simmons, the facepaint-clad frontman for the legendary band Kiss, has riled up some fans thanks to his views of women in the workplace.

Simmons wrote in his new book, “Gene Simmons On Power,” that women should “get over your biological urges,” The New York Post reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Simmons went on to explain, “It’s natural to want to have kids, but, sorry, you can’t have it both ways. You have to commit to either career or family. It’s very difficult to have both.” 

His comments ignited a fire on Twitter. 

WATCH: Taylor Swift rocks 'SNL' with 2 songs from 'Reputation'

Taylor Swift rocked "Saturday Night Live" for the first time since 2009 with a bedazzled snake mic and a brand new "Reputation."

>> Taylor Swift’s new album, 'Reputation,' gets favorable reviews

The pop icon, whose new album dropped Friday, performed a lively version of "...Ready for It?" over a backing track, then returned to the stage later with her guitar for an acoustic rendition of "Call It What You Want." 

>> Read more trending news

Check out the performances below:

>> Click here to see Swift's performance of '...Ready for It?'

>> Watch Swift's performance of 'Call It What You Want' here

Carrie Underwood breaks wrist, sustains other injuries in fall

Carrie Underwood broke her wrist and sustained other injuries Friday night after a fall on the steps outside her Nashville area home, The Tennessean reports.

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She was treated at a hospital for cuts and abrasions, in addition to her wrist injury, according to the paper, which cites a statement released by Underwood's spokesperson. The statement also says her recovery will “take some time.” She has since been released from the hospital.

>> On Rare.us: Carrie Underwood’s husband gives her the ultimate tribute following CMA Awards

The Tennessean reports that Underwood's husband, former NHL star Mike Fisher, returned to Nashville overnight to care for her.

As a result of her injuries, Underwood has had to cancel her appearance at the Country Rising benefit concert, scheduled for Sunday at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. The show is being staged to raise money for victims of recent hurricanes, as well as the victims of the Las Vegas festival shooting.

>> On Rare.us: Tears fall as Carrie Underwood pays tribute to all those we have lost

The statement from Underwood's rep says she “appreciates all prayers and well wishes.”

Neither age nor tragedy can keep Ringo Starr off the road

Ringo Starr calls from his hotel room amid the neon bling and bustle of Las Vegas, a Liverpudlian accent still peppering that unmistakable voice. Fresh off of rehearsal, the spry and ageless 77-year-old rocker readies for something he doesn’t have to do: tour.

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“Every time I put a band together and we talk to the press, they say, ‘You want to tour? You’re still playing?’” Starr said. “And I say, ‘Yep, because that’s what I do. I’m not an electrician.’”

He’s a drummer, arguably the most significant on the planet. Thanks to his Beatles tenure and solo career, the Rock Hall of Famer continues causing countless others to pick up sticks eons after the British Invasion.

“Ringo is the archetype of a great pop-rock drummer,” said Atlanta musician and producer Robert Schneider of psychedelic rockers the Apples in Stereo. “To me, he represents drumming perfection: heavy, groovy and solid, yet a little wild and not overly technical.”

Bill King, editor and publisher of the Atlanta-based Beatlefan magazine, calls him “one of the most influential drummers ever.”

Starr, with his All Starr Band in tow, will display that influence Nov. 11 at the Fox Theatre. Known to have an enduring affection for the city, Starr even invested in a downtown Atlanta eatery, the defunct London Brasserie, in the late 1980s.

His favorite Atlanta haunt today? “The Container Store,” he quipped. “That’s the place for me, brother. I need to contain myself, it seems.”

Yeah, the Beatle the press dubbed “the funny one” more than 50 years ago still has it. Subsequently, his evolution has led from cheeky mop topper to a contemporary poster child for peace and love.

Starr has become synonymous with the phrase, perpetually uttering it in interviews and onstage; consistently waving the two-fingered sign in public; and plastering it on his website and on the cover of his latest album, “Give More Love.” Each year on July 7 — they say it’s his birthday — Starr organizes a public peace and love salute with satellite events dropping all over the planet.

>> RELATED: Ringo Starr turns 77

If ever the world needed Starr to raise his peaceable hands, it might be now.

Fatefully, Starr and company were booked to start their current tour in Las Vegas months in advance of the Oct. 1 mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. A lone shooter took the lives of 59 people, including himself, and injured more than 500 others.

When recalling watching the event play out on television, Starr pauses with muted emotion. “Every time it comes up, I get a tear in my eye that so many went down,” Starr said. “Fifty-nine families have a lot to deal with, and all of those people who were wounded. … It’s hard to deal with it in your mind.”

The day after the tragedy, Starr was scheduled for a business meeting in Vegas ahead of an eight-night residency at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino set to begin less than two weeks later.

“It was a big decision to go or not,” he said. “I decided, ‘Let’s go. Let’s not let it stop our lives. We’ve got to carry on.’”

Then in the midst of the meeting, someone broke the news to Starr that his close friend and collaborator, musician Tom Petty, had died. Trudging forward, Starr made it through the meeting and kept the tour launch date on the books for Oct. 13 in Vegas.

On Oct. 12, Starr and wife Barbara Bach donated $100,000 through their Lotus Foundation to the Nevada Resort Association’s Vegas Strong Fund. The latter benefits those impacted by the Vegas shooting.

Peace and loving his way through adversity seems par for Starr’s course. In 1989, after years of struggling with addiction, Starr entered rehab and surrendered to sobriety. Seven months later, he put together his first All Starr Band.

“And here we are,” Starr said. “The dream is still unfolding.”

The concept of Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band finds the drummer sharing the stage with a who’s who of rotating musicians. To be an All Starr, you need a hit record or two to your credit. The production allows each All Starr to have his or her time in the spotlight, rocking their respective tunes. The rest of the set list, approximately half, goes to Starr with the band backing him on Beatles and solo tracks. This results in a show loaded with a total of about two dozen radio-friendly, classic rock anthems.

Since 1989, a laundry list of performers have held All Starr slots, from Starr’s brother-in-law Joe Walsh and the late Billy “the fifth Beatle” Preston to Shelia E. and Peter Frampton. According to Starr, he’s had 12 official incarnations.

The latest lineup proves to be the longest running with the core remaining the same since 2012. It features Todd Rundgren; Gregg Rolie (Santana); Richard Page (Mr. Mister); Steve Lukather (Toto); and veteran drummer Gregg Bissonette. Multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Warren Ham (Kansas) joined in 2014.

“Over the years, we’ve really gotten to know each other,” Starr explained. “We know where each other is heading. Once we get the harmonies right, we’re off (and running).”

Despite the fact he could easily dominate the stage himself for the entirety of a show, Starr opts for the communal experience of making music with others, allowing all involved a chance to shine.

“He likes getting to play to other peoples’ numbers,” said King. “As he says, all he ever wanted to be was a drummer. To him, the fact that he still gets to do that is the ultimate payoff. He’s spent his life doing what he wanted to do, which is play drums.”

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